Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter Is My Spirit Animal, But It Can Also Go Ahead and Leave.



I remember the start of winter.  When it was crisp and cold and refreshing, when the air crackled with lively possibility, and when I was excited for the change in wardrobe.  Now, four months in, the weather's just biting, the streets are filled with gross grey slush, and the only crackle in the air is static electricity.  Man I am so tired of winter.

Since it may still be here for a while, though, let's hearken back a little bit to the beginning of the season, if for no other reason, than to get a refresher on what's good about winter.  Namely, silk shirts and fur hats.**





Between the wool sailor trousers, the silk tie-front blouse, and the mink hat, this outfit is a combination of a lot of my favorite pieces that can really only be worn in colder months.  What I adore about the season is the possibilities for fabric and texture, which feel so much richer than in summer, when cotton is pretty much de rigeur.  It's also the perfect time to sport my favorite color palettes which, you may have noticed, are a little bit more, um, non-color palettes, as I tend to opt for muted tones.  I think I just find they suit my coloring a little better, and allow me to play with warmth, texture and silhouette without being overwhelming.  Of course, many, many other vintage fashionistas carry off beautifully bright colors in great, classic silhouettes with some serious panache--maybe it's a personality thing?



The hat actually dates from the 1960s, but I prefer to style it a little more 1940s by tilting it back, rather than wearing it more squarely on top of the head.  I'm also happy for any opportunity I can find to wear this bolero, which I bought years ago thinking it was incredibly versatile, only to find that actually, thanks to its wool makeup, pleating, and lower-waist length, is fairly difficult to wear.  With anything but a very defined waist, it tends to blot out the figure, and even though I like the outfit I put together, I think I didn't altogether escape that effect here either.  No matter; it's warm and fun to wear, and really, that's all anyone wants from an outfit in winter.


I think I've mentioned these gloves before, but I'll say it again, I really, really enjoy the detailing on them.  I prefer to use details as my accessories, and these gloves basically allow me to go without bracelets, the tie neck allows me to forgo a necklace, and Mac Ruby Woo means I don't need earrings.  And thank God, because storage space here is at a premium!

Hopefully as the season continues, I'll re-energize a little and take advantage of the temperature's silver linings.  I really dig winter for the fabrics and textures it requires--and I'm sure I'll miss it somewhere around July--but man.  It can go ahead and leave now.




**Because every vintage blogger must, at some point, address the Fur Question:
Fur is always going to be a tricky topic in the vintage world, and believe me, as a vegetarian, I get it.  It's a cruel industry, and I don't really understand its modern continuation as long as there's vintage fur in the market.  I have mixed feelings about my own use of fur--I realize that although I believe it to a certain extent, the argument that at least with repeated use, the animals "won't have died in vain" is a little creaky.  But I do think that, because the animals died before my mother, and in some cases grandmother, was born, it is at least responsible fur use.  I also bristle a little when non-vegetarians hitch up their pants about wearing fur; I don't think you can condone daily, non-renewable slaughter and consumption of animals and also condemn repeated use of long-dead ones.  Just my two cents.

All photographs courtesy of Spencer J Eggers

16 comments :

  1. So...let's talk about how amazing these photos are! Like, right out of a magazine spread! Gosh! The first one is just so spectacular! And the outfit is just darling too!

    I hear ya on the winter thing. While spring is my least favorite season, I have a plethora of cotton skirts that I've been trying to wear, only to have my legs freeze!

    Great fur two cents too!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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    1. Yep, it's all my brother's work again; these are the only shoots we did, so my photo quality is going to take a serious nose dive in upcoming posts! I've got to figure out my camera and how to get this sort of texture.

      This winter is really taking it out of me; snow boots seriously cramp my style, so it's been more jeans and sweaters than I'd like, lately. I need to get my new overshoes resoled--there is zero traction--but I keep holding out, thinking Well, I'd really only need them for a little while longer, maybe I should put that money toward fixing my spring shoes? Alas. Winter continues tenaciously.

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  2. Girl, you are a time traveler. Love these photos.

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  3. This outfit is wonderful, you look terrific! I particularly love the buttons on your trousers, it adds a lovely detail on the waist.
    I totally agree with you regarding winter. I look forward to it every year, but now I'm really longing for a little warmth.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I really dig these pants. A little work-intensive but warm and really fun. I'm hoping winter's on its way out, but I won't hold my breath just yet.

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  4. I adore this look! Stunning and classic.

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    1. Thank you, Heather, I'm so happy you read my blog!!

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  5. What great photos. I really love the little bolero jacket, and I generally don't like ruffles of any kind. Cute!

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    1. Thanks Lizzie! I get you on the ruffles, I tend to stay away from anything that gives off a too-young vibe (to wit, a number of sundresses won't be making an appearance this year), but I think the fact that it was in wool countered it for me? Anyway, thank you for the wonderful compliments, and for reading!

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  6. SO fantastic! I love the buttons on those pants, and I'm totally with you on the non-color-palettes. A friend who was visiting me lately is just the same way, "My favorite color, is, uh, what do you call this?" as she picks up some dusty neutral item of clothing. I'm quite partial to greys, myself. And I'm aaaalmost sick of winter, but snow is so pretty!

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    1. I want the snow *you're* getting! All ours is trampled within minutes of falling, it's a real bummer. I think we actually use color similarly--I've always liked your color/non-color choices. Also, I'm going to steal the skirt from your latest post, so, I hope you don't like it that much.

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  7. The title of this post took the words right out of my (freezing cold) mouth when it comes to my feelings about winter at the moment. Usually, you know, I'm gung-ho as all get out about this season, praise it high and low, and am sometimes even sad when it melts into spring, but not this year. Nope, not one little bit. It's strange and very unlike me, but I'm eager to see it vanish and can't remember the last time I craved spring's return as powerfully (the fact that we woke up to yet another dumping of fresh snow here today clearly means I'll have to wait at least a while longer still for that to happen).

    Everything about this outfit is immensely lovely and very, very sophisticated. It strikes me as something Katherine Hepburn might have worn if she was in the mood to dress up.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you very much for your terrific comment on yesterday's blog post. I'm really happy to know that #17 spoke to you and will help you on your own wonderful blogging path.

    *PSS* I'm with you when it comes to your stance on vintage fur entirely.

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    1. Wow, Katherine Hepburn is an idol of mine, I'm so beyond flattered! I can only imagine how much more winter you have up north; I can usually handle it pretty well, but it seems to be a consensus that this year's winter is just a little too long.
      Thanks for your really eloquent comment, and hey-- thanks for the support on the fur issue!

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  8. your brother is a talented photographer. the pictures are absolutely adorable and so is your outfit. love it!

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